I pulled out Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Remembrance recently for a re-read.
The generation that experienced WWII is dying off. Echoes of that era can be seen and heard today in our arguments about taking Syrian refugees, our immigration policies, and of course, despotism.
America didn’t want Jewish refugees then anymore than we want Syrian refugees today. The words change, but the fear remains the same.
What struck me most about the books today is how very little has changed when it comes to denial.
“The hundreds of thousands of Jews that now lie in these graves meekly marched out to the pits and stood on the brink to let themselves be shot, with their wives, children, old parents, and all. Why? Because the Germans were acting beyond human nature. The surprise was too numbing. It could not be happening.” (pg.859/860 of War and Remembrance)
This ability is probably hardwired into our big brains. And the marketing people know it. Propaganda works. It helps us to deny what we dislike. Even Mr. Wouk, in suggesting that the German’s final solution was an anomaly, something new, was in denial.
Genocide is not new. The Holocaust was simply industrialized genocide. Instead of a few million people exterminated over a long period of time, like the United States treatment of American Indians, 11 million people were killed fairly quickly, and robbed most efficiently. Hatred, fear, and its consequence….war, seem to be a part of human nature, whether we want to acknowledge that or not.
Just like there were people then who took Hitler seriously and got out of Germany while they could, there are people today who can see the worlds trajectory. Unfortunately, today, there is no safe place to go.
“But as the patient refuses to believe he has leukemia but grasps at any straws of reassurance, so the European Jews willed not to believe the ever-mounting rumors and reports that the Germans meant simply to kill them all.” (pg.961. Ibid)
Today it’s “Technology will save us. We will figure something out.” This will be accomplished by finding a new planet to live on…..without, of course, acknowledging that we’ve trashed this one. And without acknowledging the time it will take. Time that we don’t have.
Millions of dead trees and dying oceans spell death for homo sapiens. But few can see that. It’s just too depressing, right?
There are people…seemingly smart people…..who honestly seem to believe that our explosive population growth is not a problem. They don’t see a problem with feeding as many as 10 billion people. This, despite the fact that 2 billion are already not getting enough food now, when global population is at 7.4 billion.
There are people, seemingly smart, again, who think that windmills and solar panels are the answer. They don’t seem to understand that making and transporting those use fossil fuels and rare earth metals, not to mention using toxic processes.
The corporatists know. That’s why they are in the race to extract and deplete whatever is left as quickly as possible. The denial industries know, so they shriek louder and louder not to pay any attention to the dying of the oceans, the death of trees, the extinction of more and more species. Certainly the owners of the media know it.
Don’t believe your eyes. Don’t believe your senses.
There are still some who resist. The Native American tribes out west, in South Dakota, are protesting the newest proposed pipeline. They are being met with mercenaries and dogs. I believe there will be blood shed soon enough. This protest is almost exclusively being reported on social media as few of the mainstream media is covering it. It will most certainly be infiltrated and corrupted as resistance cannot be allowed to bloom. But it’s lovely to see in the here and now.
Does past behavior predict future behavior? I think, for the most part, it does. History repeats because humans are flawed. It doesn’t matter what is true. It doesn’t matter what is real. What matters is how we feel. Or, even worse, how we want to feel.
So close your eyes and imagine the very, very long line of people meekly marching to the pits.